When it comes to adding aftermarket air conditioning to your classic car it becomes a touchy subject that’s often frowned upon. For starters, there are purists who believe that a classic car should only be restored to the specifications they were built to, and then there are the countless others who are weary because of bad personal experiences—or the countless amount of horror stories they’ve heard about either repairing or replacing an A/C unit.
This segment of the industry has always been clouded by doubt. From poor performing factory air, unknowledgeable technicians, and the costly bills associated with repairing or modding vehicles to accept aftermarket air—these are just some of the issues on the list.
Fast-forward to present day and things have changed—drastically. The heat that once surrounded A/C talk has now cooled off and since been replaced with rave reviews, all thanks to advancement in technology.
Today we have available to us aftermarket air conditioning kits that are easy to install, reliable, and there’s a multitude of options to fit your specific platform. These replacement units make repairing older A/C compressors a thing of the past and there’s options to choose from. From vehicle specific, to universal platforms, each of the companies listed below have units that are sure to keep you coolin’ out.
Tired of messing with cables and fighting your A/C control switches? Tired of not having cool air? Well now you can chill out with the Vintage Air Gen-IV SureFit Systems complete kits.
They’ve been around since the mid ’70s and have long been the go-to source for some of the top custom builders in the hot rod world. All of their kits are fly-by-wire, which means no more screwing with—or fighting—cable tension. This system is electronic, which means they are operated by electronic servo controls, so there’s no more worming around with capillary tubes.
All Gen-IV systems are model-specific and offer climate-control technology for real-deal, bi-level airflow and “just right” temperature air blending. Each kit comes complete with an evaporator kit, a condenser and drier package, brackets, mounting hardware, and instructions for a professional finish that maintains your car’s value and cool looks.
With three model lines to choose from (Custom, TruMod, Underdash), Restomod Air does more than just cool. Their attention to detail carries over to the styling of their A/C vents, and one look should be enough to sell you.
At Restomod Air, they pride themselves in offering function with fashion and invest plenty of time creating and stylizing the only true aftermarket A/C systems.
Now, if engine aesthetics is important to you (and you don’t want to drill into your finely finished firewall) then try their Underdash units, which utilize high-torque dual-shaft blower motors, which are mated to a correctly sized evaporator. What does that mean in simple English? You can tuck it under your dash in an all-inclusive unit without the need to butcher your firewall.
The underdash air conditioning system is a cool only unit that contains the evaporator coil, blower motors, and controls for fans speed and temperature control. This unit is used in conjunction with a condenser, compressor, receiver/drier, and hoses to connect all the components together.
Classic Auto Air
Aside from selling factory original (OEM) A/C systems and conversions, the gents at Classic Auto Air not only carry individual parts but also aftermarket systems for 1950-1970 classics.
If you’re looking for aftermarket units then their “Perfect Fit” A/C systems utilize the latest technology to get the job done. In addition, they offer model-specific units that use the original heater controls and dash louvers while providing you with powerful air conditioning, heat on the floor, and dehumidified defrost.
The air conditioning and defrost connect to the original heater-defrost diffusers. As an option they also offer pre-bent tubing that makes for a better installation, and you can even send them your dash controls and they will modify them to work with the modern air/heat so as to look more original.
Classic Auto Air